Abraham Lincoln A Great Leader Essay

Abraham Lincoln is considered to be the greatest president of America. This is because of his impeccable vision of future and leadership qualities. There are many examples that confirm the fact that he knew exactly how to lead.

He was a person from a humble background. There were many people in his office who were more experienced and better qualified than him. But at times of any crisis situation, they lacked the degree of conviction that Lincoln possessed.

His unshakeable conviction made him confident and, his confidence made others to believe that what he is doing is right and they naturally followed him. Referring to the war of Gettysburg, 1863 it has been rightly stated in U-S-Histoty.com that “His absolute conviction that he was taking the proper course of action enabled him to persevere while others recoiled at the immense cost and suffering caused by the war, leading them to entertain thoughts of peace without victory.” (para. 13)

Lincoln’s political career was in an age where, overblown oratory by the politicians was a norm. But Lincoln, the leader did not believe in this. He tried to put the most complex things in very simple and humorous way. He used imagery, anecdotes, stories and symbols in his speech that left a lasting impact on his audience. Since he was able to communicate effectively people got motivated. Thus his excellent communication skill was one of his most important leadership qualities.

Lincoln did not preach anything rather tried to put logic to a problem situation, which automatically motivated others. This was another quality that made him such a great leader. The lines spoken by Lincoln himself brings forward this fact, more clearly:

“Certainly the Negro is not our equal in color—perhaps not in many other respects; still, in the right to put into his mouth the bread that his own hands have earned, he is the equal of every other man. In pointing out that more has been given to you, you cannot be justified in taking away, the little which has been given to him. If God gave him but little, that little let him enjoy.” (D’Souza, para.16)

Lincoln demonstrated different leadership styles in different situations. But most of the times he is considered as an autocratic leader. Due to his great conviction, sometimes he did not listen to anybody and did what he thought was right, which was the reason why people sometimes opposed his actions and decisions. Though his conviction proved right, instead of being an autocratic leader if he would have demonstrated more of participative leadership qualities he would have gained the same amount of success but a lesser number of opponents. Participative leadership requires lots of political courage.

However being an autocratic leader requires an even greater amount of political courage as well as personal courage too. Doing what one thinks is right, ignoring other people’s point of view brought him success in many situations but taking so much of risk for the betterment of his countrymen without the fear of blame that he might get if the decision proves to be a failure is not everyone’s cup of tea.

The amount of dignity, will power and courage that Abraham Lincoln demonstrated is what sets him apart and makes him superior to all the leaders of the world.


Brown, C. (2002) The character of Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved June. 24, 2007 from



 D’Souza, D. (2007) Lincoln: Hypocrite or Statesman? Retrieved June. 24, 2007 from


Johannsen, M. (2007) Leadership Styles Overview. Retrieved June. 24, 2007 from

     http://www.legacee.com/Info/ LeadershipStyles.html

U-S-History.com (2005) Retrieved June. 24, 2007 from http://www.u-s-

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Introduction Throughout time it has been said that Abraham Lincoln is one our country’s most recognizable leaders. Until the 1990’s no one had written a book incorporating his leadership skills into every day leadership concepts. Donald T. Phillips was surprised by this realization and made it his mission to write a book about the leadership skills Lincoln possessed while also relating it to the modern leadership theories we use in life and in business, today.
Lincoln on Leadership demonstrates Lincoln’s leadership styles he fine-tuned while holding the office of Presidency. Lincoln had no military experience and he only served one term as a Congressman; he was considered to be very inexperienced by the time he took the…show more content…

The fact that we utilize the changes he implemented goes to show his leadership skills are still consistent with our country’s needs. What I took away from a leadership stand point is not to immediately respond to situations. Lincoln would digest what information that confronted him. He would then sit down and write a letter, either to the person or about the situation, and never send the letter (Phillips. P. 74, 83). It was a way for him to process the information without over react or saying something he may regret. After reading this book, I have implemented that same strategy into my own life. I think it is useful to not react immediately, depending on the situation that may not be possible, to absorb what we are confronted with and think about it with rationale instead of letting our emotions get the best of us. This is especially true in business. We cannot afford to burn bridges or fly of the handle at an employee’s expense. We need to be calm and calculated in our decision making; to me that is one component of being a good leader.
Leadership Concepts
In the first section, People, it explains the importance of getting out of the office and mingling with the “troops”. Lincoln felt it was very important to have an open door policy, allowing his subordinates to have available access to him Phillips. P. 16). He felt being close to the people allowed him to be a more effective leader. He took this

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